Oklahoma, rated best team in country, was held in check for 30 minutes by rugged Maryland defense before Tommy McDonald broke through for score in third quarter, setting stage for two more touchdowns, the last on sub Halfback Carl Dodd's 82-yard dash with intercepted pass to give Sooners smashing 20-6 triumph in Orange Bowl.
End Dave Kaiser's well-directed field goal from 31-yard line, with seven seconds to play, broke 14-14 deadlock, gave Michigan State narrow 17-14 win over UCLA before screaming 100,809 in bruising Rose Bowl thriller. Kick came minutes after Ronnie Knox's pass and Doug Peters' one-yard dive had given UCLA tie.
Georgia Tech made most of pass interference penalty called against Pitt's Bobby Grier in first quarter, sent Wade Mitchell crashing over from one-yard line for game's only touchdown and 7-0 victory over Panthers in Sugar Bowl.
Mississippi, surging from behind on pinpoint passing of versatile Eagle Day, line-blasting and placement kicking of Paige Cothren, pushed over winning score in closing minutes to upset TCU 14-13 in Cotton Bowl despite spectacular running of All-America Jim Swink, who registered both touchdowns for Horned Frogs.
Vanderbilt, outweighed and outgained, outscored favored Auburn 25-13 in Gator Bowl at Jacksonville, Fla. as Junior Quarterback Don Orr passed for one touchdown, ran for two others.
East All-Stars, with Iowa Quarterback Jerry Reichow expertly directing Ohio State Coach Woody Hayes' devastating split-T, crunched out two touchdowns in first half, were led to another pair by Illinois' Em Lindbeck in final minutes to overpower West 29-6 in Shrine game at San Francisco.
George Welsh, brilliant Navy star, made good use of air-tight protection to complete 12 of 20 passes for 164 yards, had hand in all three scores as South beat North 20-7 in Orange Bowl all-star game at Miami.
Kentucky's accurate-throwing Bob Hardy found sticky-fingered target in All-America Teammate Howard Schnellenberger, outpitched Wisconsin's Jim Haluska in spectacular aerial duel to give South close 20-19 decision over North in Blue-Gray classic at Montgomery, Ala.
Wyoming rallied for two touchdowns in last period to upset Texas Tech 21-14 in Sun Bowl; Border Conference came from behind to beat Skyline Conference 13-10 in Salad Bowl; Prairie View battered Fisk 59-0 in Prairie View Bowl; Halfback George (Dusty) Rice's scoring runs of 97 and 95 yards led Air Force All-Stars to 33-14 victory over Army in Rice Bowl at Tokyo.
New Yorkers turned out to watch San Francisco and fabulous Bill Russell and they weren't disappointed as Dons rushed past La Salle 79-62, Holy Cross 67-51 and UCLA 70-53 to capture Holiday Festival, stretching winning streak to 36 and prompting New York Knickerbocker Coach Joe Lapchick to comment: "...the best college team I ever have seen."
North Carolina State, after sluggish 59-54 victory over Oregon State, put together tight zone defense and flashy fast break to rout Wake Forest 70-58, North Carolina 82-60 and win Dixie Classic at Raleigh, N.C.
George Washington, with triple-teamed sure shot Joe Holup rebounding and pouring in points, whipped St. Francis of Loretto, Pa. 69-58, held off rallying Michigan State long enough to win 65-62 in Maryland Winter Invitational at College Park, Md. after beating Wyoming 82-75.
Brigham Young came back from two straight losses to tumble Toledo 89-70, Detroit 99-77 in Motor City tournament at Detroit as little Terry Tebbs scored 67 points in two games, then bowed to Michigan 80-79.
Iowa State, fired up by Gary Thompson's clutch shooting, outlasted Kansas State 79-71, Colorado 55-52, had easier time beating Kansas 67-56 in Big Seven final at Kansas City.
SMU showed ability to win close ones, outscoring Arkansas 67-62 and Southern California 70-64, went on to upset Rice 76-73 in overtime in Southwest Conference tournament at Houston.
Notre Dame pulled major surprise in Sugar Bowl, whipping Alabama 86-80 and Utah 70-65 after Utes lost star rebounder Art Bunte early in second half.
Tulsa upset Oklahoma City 65-58 in All-College competition at Oklahoma City while Cincinnati trounced Richmond 89-60 in Richmond (Va.) Invitational final; West Virginia got by Miami 83-78 to take honors in Orange Bowl at Miami Beach, Fla.; Clemson outran South Carolina 94-87 to win in Gator Bowl at Jacksonville, Fla.
Dayton maintained clean record by beating Washington & Lee 86-54 for ninth straight; Kentucky's Bob Burrow scored 40 points in 101-80 win over St. Louis. (For other results, see page 41.)
Boston Celtics, playing best ball in NBA, ran winning streak to seven with victories over St. Louis 105-102, Syracuse 110-103, Rochester 112-100, Philadelphia 121-113, moved into first-place tie with Warriors in Eastern Division while Fort Wayne Pistons beat St. Louis three straight, got by Rochester 83-75 to hold top spot in West.
Mack Miller, who got his early training in junior ski program at McCall, Idaho, skidded over 15-kilometer course at Spout Springs, Ore. in 1:04.53, beating Larry Damon of Burlington, Vt. to win national cross-country championship and berth on U.S. Olympic team. Others picked: Damon and Lynn Levy of New Orleans for crosscountry; Marvin Crawford of Steamboat Springs, Col., Ted Farwell Jr. of Montague City, Mass. and Charles Tremblay of Keene, N.H. for nordic combined.
TRACK & FIELD
Parry O'Brien, powerful Californian, joined speedster Bobby Morrow in giving record-breaking performance at Auckland but New Zealander Murray Halberg stole spotlight with bristling finish in 4:02.2 mile. O'Brien heaved shot put 58 feet 4 inches and tossed discus 159 feet 3 inches while Lon Spurrier, third member of touring U.S. team, in first try at mile, ran respectable 4:08 behind Halberg.
Wes Santee made still one more futile attempt at elusive 4-minute mile in ideal weather on fast track at Coral Gables, Fla., ran special race in good but unspectacular 4:06.3 after complaining of cramping pain in lower calf of right leg.
Jesse Mashburn, long-striding Oklahoma A&M star, began new year by sprinting to new meet record of 0.47.1 for 400 meters, anchored his team to victory in 1,600-meter relay to gain Most Valuable Athlete award in Sugar Bowl meet at New Orleans.
Vince Martinez, his skill as welterweight boxing master firmly established, showed he can also punch when he unloaded quick combinations, finished off tough Middleweight Peter Mueller with smashing right in second round at Milwaukee.
Young Jack Johnson, California novice heavyweight with only 16 pro fights, raked fading 34-year-old Ezzard Charles with long left and right cross, won by TKO in sixth at Los Angeles to push reluctant former champion another step toward retirement.
LSU, with 139-pound Bobby Freeman stopping Orin Lyons for his third Sugar Bowl title, gave new Coach Ted Thrash 6-2 victory over Syracuse at New Orleans.
Vic Seixas, top-ranking amateur since Tony Trabert joined pros, was led merry chase by onetime star but now weekend player Dick Savitt, who upset Bernard Bartzen and Tom Brown Jr. on way to finals, lost first two sets 2-6, 4-6 but found range with drop shots to take next three 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 to capture his first Sugar Bowl invitational at New Orleans.
Nancy O'Connell, auburn-haired 15-year-old called "the equal of Maureen Connolly at the same stage" by knowledgeable Mrs. Hazel Wightman, was hailed as tennis' brightest prospect after winning both singles and doubles titles in 18-year-and-under, 15-year-and-under divisions for unprecedented quadruple victory in U.S. girls' indoor championships at Brookline, Mass.
Honeys Alibi, far back in early going, moved up quickly to win $30,600 Malibu Sequet Stake by head in photofinish with Hillary as favored Traffic Judge faded badly in stretch, wound up in seventh place at Santa Anita, Calif.
Terrang, sprightly 2-year-old who is Rex Ellsworth's leading hope for Kentucky Derby, was given able ride by Willie Shoemaker in first start since last summer, took $30,500 California Breeders' Trial Stakes by¾ length at same track.
Hasty House Farms, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Allie Reuben of Toledo, put on last-week spurt at Tropical Park, pushed 1955 earnings to $832,879—$1,454 more than Belair Stud's $831,425—to become year's top money winner. Roughly 90% of Beiair's earnings were by one horse: Nashua.
Henry Lauterbach, 36-year-old racing boat builder from Portsmouth, Va., trailed Italy's dashing Ezio Selva in two of three heats but won protested victory and possession of $7,500 Baker Paladium Trophy in International Grand Prix at Orange Bowl Regatta when officials disqualified Selva for cutting inside marker in first race.
Ed DeWitt, agile 167-pounder, outgrappled Hofstra's Pete Damone for Pitt's only individual championship but Panthers piled up enough points (69) to dethrone Michigan in Wilkes College open tournament at Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Penn State's Sidney Nodland (123 pounds), Larry Fornicola (137 pounds), Joe Krufka (177 pounds) and Will Oberly (191 pounds),competing unattached, stole show by taking four titles.
Montreal faltered briefly while losing to Toronto 2-0, snapped back to thump Maple Leafs 5-2, Chicago 7-3, held 13-point lead over New York in National Hockey League. Rangers bowed to Black Hawks but outskated Boston 6-2, 4-2 while third-place Detroit outscored Boston 4-3, Chicago 5-1, tied Toronto 2-2 to go over .500 mark for first time this season.
MOTORBOATING—Ezio Selva, daredevil Italian speedboat racer from Milan, gunned his sleek new 800-kilogram hydroplane Moschiettiera, powered by 18-year-old Alpha-Romeo engine once used in automobile, up to swift 144 mph, averaged 141.767 for two runs, faster than any other class boat of similar engine size has ever traveled in American waters, in Orange Bowl Regatta at Miami, Fla. (Dec. 28).
Howard Abbey of Miami accounted for new world record, skipping along at 59.801 mph in time trial to shatter 5-year-old APBA mile standard for F service inboard runabouts (Dec. 28). Old record: 57.280 mph, set by Edison Hedges of Red Bank, N.J. in 1951.
HONORED—Harrison Dillard, lanky two-time Olympic champion (100-meter dash in 1948; 110-meter hurdles in 1952), holder of world record of 0:22.3 for 220-yard low hurdles, publicity man for Cleveland Indians, member of Cleveland Boxing Commission; named winner of James E. Sullivan Memorial Trophy for 1955 as nation's outstanding amateur athlete, in New York.
HONORED—Harry Hopman, outspoken master-mind of Australia's Davis Cup team, one of world's leading tennis figures; made Commander, Order of the British Empire, by Queen Elizabeth, in London.
DIED—Christy Walsh, 64, veteran sports-writer, ghostwriter for Eddie Rickenbacker, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Knute Rockne and others, manager of sports celebrities, founder of All-America Board of Football; of heart attack, at North Hollywood, Calif.